Feasibility study on the influence of discontinuities on anisotropic rock masses regarding the stiffness

Andreas Anjan Buyer, Lukas Gottsbacher, Wulf Schubert

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperpeer-review


For the design of rock engineering projects, rock mass parameters are usually determined by the use of classification systems (Q, GSI, RMR, etc.). A homogeneous rock mass with reduced parameters via empirical relationships is generated, and the influence of the anisotropy is lost during the process. The influence of discrete discontinuities on the global rock mass stiffness is investigated in this feasibility study and the results compared to empirical solutions based on the GSI. The results show that with one joint set oriented perpendicular to the direction of loading, the block volume is rather insignificant for the resulting E rm ; whereas the joint normal spacing parallel to the direction of loading and the block shape are the most influencing factors. In the cases, with the block volume and joint condition as input parameters, the E rm is significantly underestimated, while the E rm , based on RQD and JCond 89 still fits in the range of the numerical results. However, the numerical investigations are so far limited on an orthogonal oriented joint network under uniaxial compression and further investigations are necessary.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGeomechanics and Geodynamics of Rock Masses
EditorsVladimir Litvinenko
Place of PublicationSt. Petersburg
PublisherCRC Press/Balkema
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9781138616455
Publication statusPublished - 22 May 2018
Event2018 ISRM European Rock Mechanics Symposium: EUROCK 2018 - Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation
Duration: 22 May 201826 May 2018


Conference2018 ISRM European Rock Mechanics Symposium
Country/TerritoryRussian Federation
CitySaint Petersburg


  • 3DEC
  • Block volume
  • Jointed rock mass
  • Young’s modulus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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